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Joali Maldives celebrates first anniversary with new art experiences, visiting artists programme



Joali Maldives has extended its art immersive philosophy with the launch of new art experiences and a roster of visiting artists, as the resort celebrates its first anniversary.

From the very beginning, Joali’s founders knew they needed to create something entirely different if they wanted to set this resort apart from the archipelago’s other private islands. By staying at one of the best, you know you’ll be treated to the sugar white sand, turquoise water and abundant marine life the Maldives is known for and the ultimate in gastronomy, wellness and style.

For Joali to stand out, this had to be more than just a case of styling the resort differently. To give this island its distinct identity, they decided to integrate experiential artworks into the luxury villas and natural environment, enhancing the experience guests have through this artwork.

The manta-inspired arrival jetty of Joali Maldives. PHOTO/ JOALI MALDIVES

Ala Onur and Zyenap Ercan of No LaB curated the selection of international artists, then these artists set about creating pieces that represent the island’s natural surroundings, bringing more character to the resort whilst also reconnecting people to nature. Some of these artworks were created on-site and some were made using native materials.

You can now dive down to the coral-inspired underwater mosaic sculpture garden of New York artist Misha Kahn, climb in the cocoon-like Evolution Chair of Spanish artist Nacho Carbonell, and sit back in the hanging Heron Chair of South African artist Porky Hefer who also created one of the most prominent artworks on the island, the playful Manta Ray Treehouse. The lush courtyard of the spa is home to Israeli artist Zemer Peled’s sculpture, Maldives Vibes, which takes inspiration from the Maldives’ extraordinary marine environment.

The cocoon-like Evolution Chair by Nacho Carbonell. PHOTO/ JOALI MALDIVES
The Heron Chair by Porky Hefer. PHOTO/ JOALI MALDIVES
The Manta Ray Treehouse and Nest by Porky Hefer. PHOTO/ JOALI MALDIVES

Proving exceptional attention to detail, bespoke artwork and design is integrated throughout every aspect of the resort experience. Turkish artist Feleksan Onar created glass pineapple and coral objects for the each villa’s mini bar, and Cape Town’s design studio Ardmore came up with a heron and frangipani flower design for the in-villa beach kaftans.

All of these bespoke pieces of art are then integrated into the architectural and interior design of the Istanbul studio, Autobahn, who used custom-designed furnishings, hand-carved wooden panels, bamboo elements and terrazzo flooring to create a sense of tropical island chic. Istanbul-based Atölye4n created the manta ray structure that welcomes you at the arrival jetty and Tokyo-based Studio Glitt came up with the origami-like timber design of the overwater Japanese restaurant, Saoke.

The manta-inspired arrival jetty of Joali Maldives. PHOTO/ JOALI MALDIVES

Joali, which made its debut in October 2018, plans to add to this art collection on an on-going basis, and to extend the art concept in its second year Joali is beginning its series of visiting-artist-run workshops.

This series will begin with a two-week programme by Zemer Peled, the creator of the spa-based coral sculpture, who is known for her porcelain artworks inspired by natural forms.

“We want some of the same artists who created work for the island to come back for two weeks to three months to host workshops in the island’s studio. I want them to use interesting mediums like painting on silk or clay. We’re putting a kiln in for Zemer, so she can do ceramics with the guests, then we’ll keep the kiln here. At the same time, I’m asking the artists who come over to leave an artwork behind, so we’ll get a new piece of artwork from each set of workshops we host,” Steven Phillips, the General Manager at Joali, said.

The Autobahn-designed interiors of Joali’s luxury overwater pool villas. PHOTO/ JOALI MALDIVES

From December 23, 2019 to January 6, 2020, Peled will be leading paper and clay workshops for guests on the island. You’ll be able to join the artist in the Joali Studio each day to gain insight into the Maldivian coral reefs and create your own paper and clay artworks to take home with you at the end of your stay. You’ll look at the colours and shapes found within the reef while experimenting with different ways of working with the materials, from moulding the clay to paper folding and painting.

“My sculpture, Maldives Vibes, was inspired by the rich underwater world of the Maldives coral reefs. It is primarily white in colour to symbolise the coral bleaching that has affected the Maldives, but the striking colours that embellish the sculpture serve as both a memory of the vibrant coral reef and encouragement for its future protection. Over the course of two weeks, participants of my workshop on Joali will create their own paper and clay sculptures inspired by the Maldives coral reefs,” Peled explained.

Zemer Peled working on her coral-inspired sculpture, Maldives Vibes. PHOTO/ FETHI IZAN – P BLOK

To hear the story behind the island’s artworks whilst you’re there, you can sign up for the, also newly established, art tour for which members of the Joali team have been specially trained.

Joali Maldives is a luxury, immersive art resort located on the island of Muravandhoo in Raa atoll. The 73-villa property offers unconventional luxury in a private setting and a distinct focus on design by internationally-renowned design studio Autoban, architecture and design firm Atolye4n and Tokyo-based Studio Glitt.

Innovative dining concepts include Japanese restaurant Saoke, authentic Asian and Levant restaurant Vandhoo, Tuscan-inspired Bellinis, personalised dining and cooking school Her Kitchen, as well as numerous destination dining experiences.

The Spa by ESPA invites guests on a holistic wellness journey along with a world-class fitness centre and expert trainers.

Joali Maldives celebrates its “Joie de Vivre” philosophy through unique programming such as Maldivian excursions and one-of-a-kind on-property offerings, including an Art Studio and Gallery, Flower Garden, Manta Ray Treehouse and more.


Award-winning Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives launches indulgence winter offer



Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives recently announced scooping up the title of “Best Boutique Resort in Maldives” for the second consecutive year, awarded by the Travel Trade Maldives which comes as no surprise as it is one of the best destinations to experience the unreal sunsets you will ever see while projecting extravagant character and easy-going exotica.

What’s really shaking things up this holiday season at this cozy luxury boutique island resort is that you will be spoiled for choice with one beach for every day. That is right – home to four beautiful beaches, Wai, Veli, Dhigu, and Divehi, all with their unique character – letting you sunbathe, snorkel, windsurf, and cycle overwater around the island to your heart’s content. Touching down at Kodhipparu, adventure seekers can revel in countless opportunities for wild coral reef dives, parasailing up the sky for a bird’s-eye view of the lagoon, or even simply zen out to sunrise and sunset with the resident yogi.

To celebrate the win, and to rev up the appetite with seaside excursions, the resort announced the launch of the exclusive “Kodhipparu Indulgence” offer with an unparalleled dining experience and a consequential gourmet coma that is fully worth every penny you’ve spent on your extravagant holiday.

Set your seaside expedition dreams to a reality, with attractive offerings from the resort-owned marine sports centre as well as the luxury overwater spa, that will have you wanting to extend your holiday. What’s more, you get to enjoy complimentary roundtrip speedboat transfers saving you quite a few pennies on your vacation.

The little explorers with big dreams are welcome to stay and dine free of charge sharing the room with the parents, whether it is by spending their time decorating some yummy cupcakes or catching a kiddies movie under the stars with popcorn.

If you are looking for a romantic touch, with an ample amount of floating rose petals in your pool, or a swoon-worthy proposal set up at a secret corner of the island out of bounds to others or even a candle-lit dinner on the secluded beaches with you and your beau, all you have to do is message your lifestyle host to work the magic and make it happen for you. With the Kodhipparu dedicated lifestyle host service, everything is just a message away.

As is all good things, this offer is only for a limited time period, so make use of this exclusive indulgence package at Grand Park Kodhipparu comes with an amazing 35% discount on all villa categories.

Simply head over to to book your holiday with a flair of fun, freedom, and serenity that is promised to make you keep coming back for more!

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An Insider

Abdulla Wisam: A journey of excellence and growth in the Maldivian hospitality industry



In the heart of the stunning Maldives, where luxury resorts and crystal-clear waters come together to create a paradise on Earth, there are individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every guest’s experience is nothing short of exceptional. One such individual is Abdulla Wisam, whose remarkable journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to providing the best possible service to guests.

Abdulla Wisam’s journey in the hospitality industry began right after completing his schooling. In 2003, he embarked on his professional career by joining Dhoveli Beach Resort & Spa, where he gained his first taste of the world of hospitality. It was here that he discovered his passion for creating memorable guest experiences and building relationships with visitors from around the world.

After his initial foray into the industry, Wisam’s career path continued to evolve. His dedication and hard work caught the attention of industry leaders, leading him to take on roles of increasing responsibility. His time at Meeru Island Resort saw him as an Outlet Cashier and Night Auditor, roles that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the operational aspects of a resort.

Wisam’s determination and eagerness to learn led him to the iconic Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, where he started as a Recreation Attendant. Over time, he showcased his exceptional skills in guest relations and management, and he was promoted to the position of Front Office Supervisor. His journey with Four Seasons served as a stepping stone for what was to come next.

In 2014, Wisam joined the W Maldives, a resort known for its luxurious offerings and unparalleled guest experiences. Starting as a Welcome Team Leader, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his impeccable guest service skills and innate leadership abilities. His promotion to Guest Experience Manager was a testament to his ability to not only meet but exceed guest expectations. He was then transferred to The St. Regis Maldives as the Assistant Front Office Manager with the pre-opening team.

As his career trajectory continued its upward trajectory, Wisam took on the role of Front Office Manager at prestigious resorts such as Milaidhoo Island, Raffles Maldives, and The Standard Maldives. These roles allowed him to refine his management style, hone his problem-solving skills, and contribute to the overall success of each resort.

Wisam’s journey eventually led him to COMO Cocoa Island, a resort renowned for its unparalleled luxury and exquisite attention to detail. Joining as the Front Office Manager, he embraced the challenges and responsibilities that came with the position. His dedication, combined with his innate ability to create genuine connections with guests, led to his promotion as the Director of Rooms.

Wisam’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a remarkable tale of perseverance, growth, and a genuine passion for creating exceptional guest experiences. His diverse roles, spanning from recreation to guest experience management, have equipped him with a holistic understanding of the industry. His commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to delivering top-tier service have not only benefited the resorts he’s been a part of but have also contributed to elevating the reputation of Maldives as a premier luxury travel destination.

As Wisam continues to shape the guest experience landscape at COMO Cocoa Island, one can only imagine the heights he will reach and the impact he will make on the ever-evolving hospitality industry of the Maldives. His journey stands as an inspiration to aspiring hoteliers and a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who are truly passionate about their craft.

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Fan Club

A remarkable tale of wanderlust: Naito Takashi’s 103rd journey to the Maldives



The azure waters of the Maldives have long been a magnet for travelers seeking paradise on Earth. Among these wanderers, one name stands out – Naito Takashi, a Japanese tourist whose boundless enthusiasm for the Maldives has led him to visit this tropical haven a staggering 103 times. His unwavering love for this island nation, coupled with its mesmerizing beauty, has turned his visits into a remarkable testament to the allure of the Maldives.

For the past 24 years, Naito Takashi has visited Maldives between three to five times annually, embarking on a journey that has spanned more than two decades. His tale is one of dedication, passion, and a deep-rooted connection with the captivating landscapes that the Maldives offers. Each visit is not just a vacation; it’s a renewal of his profound relationship with the natural wonders that have captured his heart.

Naito Takashi’s 103rd arrival to the Maldives was met with a warm and heartfelt welcome from none other than the Tourism Minister himself, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. This gesture symbolizes the deep appreciation the Maldivian people have for their loyal and devoted visitors. The ceremony held aboard the M/V Blue of the Fun Azul Fleet was a fitting tribute to a traveler who has become an honorary ambassador of the Maldives.

The M/V Blue, Fun Azul Fleet, holds special significance for Naito Takashi. As an avid diver, he has found his perfect companion in this cruise boat specialized in diving charters. The vessel offers schedules tailored to explore the best dive spots around the Maldives’ islands, making it an ideal partner for a diving enthusiast like Naito Takashi. The crystal-clear waters of the Maldives have witnessed countless underwater escapades orchestrated by this intrepid traveler.

The Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism has lauded Naito Takashi’s enduring passion for the nation’s beauty. Their tweet acknowledging his multiple visits serves as a testament to his unique and cherished relationship with the country. He has witnessed the ever-changing landscape of the Maldives, from its pristine beaches to its vibrant marine life, and has undoubtedly contributed to the thriving tourism industry.

Naito Takashi’s story also reflects the profound impact that travel can have on an individual’s life. His unwavering commitment to exploring the Maldives has not only enriched his own experiences but has also brought attention to the natural wonders of Maldives. It stands as a reminder that the act of traveling is not just about ticking off destinations from a bucket list; it’s about forming connections, fostering appreciation, and creating lasting memories.

As Naito Takashi continues his journey through the Maldives, his story resonates as an inspiration to fellow travelers and a tribute to the unyielding allure of this island paradise. His 103rd visit is not just a numerical milestone; it’s a celebration of an extraordinary bond between a traveler and a destination, a bond that has grown stronger with each passing year and promises to endure for years to come.

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